Apr 13, 2012
Former Detroit Lions defensive tackle and television actor Alex Karras is the lead plaintiff and one of 119 people who filed suit against the NFL in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia on Thursday.
The 76-year-old Karras and his wife Susan Clark say that the league didn't do enough to protect its players from head injuries.The complaint states: “During his NFL career, Mr. Karras sustained repetitive traumatic impacts to his head and/or concussions on multiple occasions. Currently, Mr. Karras suffers from various neurological conditions and symptoms related to the multiple head traumas.”
Karras was formally diagnosed with dementia seven years ago; although Clark said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that the symptoms were present more than a dozen years ago. His wife said that Karras has trouble performing day-to-day activities.
The Iowa product was the 10th overall pick of the 1958 NFL draft. Karras played his entire career with the Lions before retiring in 1970 at age 35. He was a three-time, first-team All-Pro and made the Pro Bowl four times. He missed the 1963 season when NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle suspended him in a gambling probe.